The Student Media Staff Travels and Learns in LA


Lisa Wallace

Students take a picture in front of the Universal entrance

Madeline Mehall and Kate Haddock

At 4:00 a.m. on Thursday, April 7, Lisa Wallace, US Student Media Advisor’s journalists met to fly to Los Angeles, California. Wallace planned a trip to a journalism convention that was held in LA. Any student in Yearbook, Newspaper, Ads, or Video could join. After hours of travel, the students landed, excited to go to Universal Studios.

First, the group got on the Universal Studios Tour tram. They toured TV and movie sets and the sets for shows like The Good Place, Jaws, American Ninja Warrior, and other sound rooms. The tram then brought the tour group to sound rooms, covered in 40 ft tall screens, that animated “Jurassic Park” and sprayed water on the visitors. After a fun ride on the tram, the group walked over to Harry Potter World. 

The group stopped to try the famous frozen butterbeer.  

“The frozen butterbeer was absolutely amazing and was super refreshing,” Jack Mezey ’23 said. 

The group also ventured out to the Simpsons ride, Minions virtual ride, and the Mummy ride from “The Mummy”. The first day was an overall 10/10 fun day.

The Trade Center was full of diffrent yearbook and newspaper companies.

 On Friday, the journalists got ready for the conventions lasting from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and attended tons of different classes about journalism. It was a bit chaotic finding the different rooms, so the group decided to go to the Tradecenter first.

The Tradecenter was super lively, vibrant, and interesting. The group learned tips and tricks about journalism and publications from table to table. The group even gave Wallace a shoutout.

Next, the group headed to some classes about quotes, plagiarism, and how to work Instagram. One class had the People Magazine editor talk to the group about his story as a journalist and what he does. Madeline Mehall ’25 and Kate Haddock ‘25 loved the class about getting perfect quotes for a story and how to use them to interest the reader. The quotes class was led by another teacher who was in charge of her school’s newspaper program. Another class that Madeline Mehall ’25 and Kate Haddock ‘25 enjoyed was learning how to not be plagiarized when writing stories and how to give proper credit to the owner. 

Georgia Ethridge ‘23, Lauren Mitchell ‘23, and Kennedy Packer ‘23 are all a part of the yearbook staff and learned new things as well. 

“Themes So Right was my favorite class,” Georgia Ethridge ‘23 said, “It helped Kennedy, Lauren, and I create an overall theme of what we wanted some of the spreads to look like. We took a lot of inspiration from the pictures that were shown and will hopefully incorporate that in next year’s yearbook.”

After learning so much about journalism, the group planned a spontaneous trip to the beach, which ended up being one of their favorite parts of the trip.

 “The beach was by far my favorite part of the trip,” Megan Magruder ‘23 said. “I loved playing volleyball with all of the other people on the trip. The beach was definitely a fan favorite.” 

Students in front of the Chinese Theater

After having pizza and watching the sunset, the group headed back to the hotel. The next day, we woke up and went to more convention classes. Then, the group got dressed up and went to Hollywood Boulevard.

The group saw the Hollywood Walk of Fame, celebrity hands, and footprints in front of Grauman’s Chinese Theater, all while making time for a fun trip to Zara. The group got back in the car and drove to the Oscars museum. 

Vintage Oscars Dresses at the Oscar Museum

It was really cool to see the props and costumes used in real movies like the “Wizard of Oz” and “Crazy Rich Asians”. The group also saw dresses that were worn to the Oscars.

Lastly, the group ended the trip by waking up the next day and jumping on a celebrity home tour bus. The group loved seeing the mansions in Beverly Hills and the houses of celebrities. 

On the way to the airport, the group also stopped by Randy’s Donuts, where Madeline Mehall ‘25 got a giant donut. Once the group landed back in Dallas, they were escorted by security to the bus. Nolan Hightower, Plant Operations, picked the group up from Love Field airport and brought them back safely at 10:30 p.m. after the trip.